Controversy over ‘Dhaman-1’, a ventilator manufactured by a Rajkot-based company, continues amid rising number of COVID-19 deaths and cases in Gujarat.
The ventilators had been manufactured by Jyoti CNC Automation Limited at a cost of about Rs 1 lakh per piece. The company has given over 850 ventilators to the Gujarat government for free.
Questions over its efficiency were raised after the head of the department at Ahmedabad’s Civil Hospital wrote a letter to the state government, asking for higher capacity of ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients. The letter also reportedly mentioned the Dhaman-1 ventilator.
Ever since then, the opposition Congress has been questioning the efficiency of the ventilators. It has also sought to know how many Dhaman-1 ventilators are in use and how many patients have been so far put on these ventilators.
On Monday, a video went viral in which superintendent of Gotri Hospital in Vadodara Dr. Vishala Pandya is heard saying in a video that Dhaman-1 ventilators are not very good and can be used only if very necessary.
She was reportedly talking to a Congress delegation. The Congress in Gujarat is visiting government hospitals in all the districts of the state to felicitate coronavirus warriors and also know the problems faced by the doctors, their safety and details about Dhaman-1 ventilators. As part of their campaign, a delegation led by Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda will visit Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, Asia’s largest civil hospital, on Tuesday.
In Vadodara, after the video went viral, Dr. Pandya backtracked. She released a video message, saying that video was shot without her knowledge during the conversation. She claimed that when asked about the Dhaman-1 ventilator, she said that she had told the delegation that she would not be in a position to tell about it as it was not used in her hospital.
Meanwhile, 30 more deaths due to COVID-19 were reported in Gujarat in the 24 hours ending at 5pm on Monday. With this, the total number of COVID-19 deaths in Gujarat has gone up to 888. The period also saw 405 positive cases, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases so far to 14,468.
The period also witnessed the discharge of 224 patients, who recovered from COVID-19. So far, 6,636 patients have been discharged.